HOW TO BE ECO-RESPONSIBLE IN THE OFFICE?
Repeated thunderstorms, periods of heat waves and other floods, we have all made the link between climate change and these sometimes dramatic events.
While governments and major groups don’t seem to really agree to act quickly, we, as people working in an office, must take the lead at our level.
A little reminder of what we can do in the office to be eco-responsible
We know all the right things to do to avoid (or at least reduce) the waste of resources. But do we apply them?
Not always obvious. Even if we are full of good will, these gestures are not yet done in reflex mode for everyone, and even less so in the office.
So here are the 5 commandments of eco-responsibility in the office and its pdf version to print (even if it’s not very eco-friendly, it’s for a good cause).
1) Your computer (and other electrical appliances) you will turn off
It seems obvious and yet how many of our colleagues leave their computers on standby? And no! Putting a computer to sleep and turning it off are two different things, and power consumption is affected.
Take a look at this little chart :
Also remember to turn off the peripherals of your computer: screen, speakers, printers … and of course, lights, coffee machines, screens and other electrical appliances.
2) Your mailbox you will empty
Come on … since when is emptying your mailbox important for the planet, you may ask? Well, don’t be mistaken! An email generates about 10g of CO? per year.
How is this possible? Quite simply because behind the sending and storage of an email there is the Internet and its multitude of computer servers that work 24/7 and consume a lot of energy. Add to this the consumption of iron, an email of 1 MB would consume 7.5 grams of iron.
So do the calculation in relation to your mail sending/receiving and … clean your mailbox.
3) With parsimony you will print
With the digital world we are still far from the paperless world. And yet it is becoming easier and easier not to print certain documents. Contracts and other important documents that used to require a signature can now be digitally signed and meeting minutes can be distributed by e-mail.
Even so, there will always be documents left to print in the office (remember to print your internal documents in draft and black and white mode). So why not convince your purchasing department to opt for recycled paper for all internal documents?
4) Your waste you will sort
If before in the business world the focus was on the good old plastic cup that proudly stood on the desk, today the problem has shifted to the famous coffee capsules. According to different opinions, coffee in pods pollutes more because of the unique packaging. Conversely, the use of a conventional filter machine would pollute more (higher power consumption) than a pod machine. We will of course let you be the judge. However, whether it is the cup, the pods or the packaging, remember to recycle in the right bins.
And if it’s not clear to everyone, specify on the sorting bins the items that go in them.
5) “Green” supplies you will use
The first solution is to say “stop” to the office consumer society. How can we do this? By stopping buying disposable products with refillable ones. Goodbye good old bic and hello cartridge pens!
The second solution if you don’t want to put ink in your fingers is to opt for pens made of recycled plastic or wood. More expensive but so much better for the planet!
Here are the basics to respect at the office to be eco-responsible, but we can go even further.
Making your office “green”: some easy ideas to implement
According to ADEME, we spend about 200 days a year in the office and there are nearly 13 million of us in France working in offices.
Knowing this, we tell ourselves that we can necessarily do a little more for our environment.
1) Organizing “Green” professional events
Every company necessarily needs to organize business meetings. Here too it is possible to make these meetings more eco-friendly.
- Meetings on company premises
Do you have a meeting room capable of hosting your professional event? It’s perfect. But even if you’re hosting an important client, there’s no need to turn on the air conditioning or heating 3 hours in advance! Also if you offer a coffee reception and water in the room, think about reusable dishes: glass bottles, glasses, cups … washing up 10 coffee cups is not terrible either!
And if you need to organize a lunch break on the spot, choose the caterer at the end of the street rather than the chic restaurant at the other end of town.
Finally, plan reasonable quantities adapted to the number of participants, this will avoid waste.
- Meeting room rental
Need to rent a meeting room to hold your executive committee, training or business meeting? Choose a room that is close to public transportation. Are your participants coming from the South? Why not rent a meeting room near the Gare de Lyon train station?
2) Work in a shared “green” office
Do you share your desk with other colleagues? No problem, there are actions you can take to reduce your carbon footprint while making your open-space office a comfortable place to work.
- Go for daylight
Opening the windows allows more light to come in and therefore reduces the power consumption for lighting.
- Manage the room temperature
Cooling or heating a room in an environmentally responsible manner is a logical and compromise when there are several people in the same office.
Regardless of the season, the room is ventilated with the air conditioning and heating turned off. In summer, we take advantage of the cool morning air to open windows early, then close windows, blinds and shutters as soon as the outside temperature rises. In winter, it is at night that we close everything in order to keep the heat as much as possible.
It is also important to moderate the use of air conditioning and heating. There is no point in setting the air conditioning to 19°C if you don’t catch a cold.
On the other hand, in winter, setting the heating to 30°C does not help either. The heating should be regulated according to the outside temperature and not the feeling. And if you’re more cold than your colleagues, get a jacket especially for the office.
3) Lower your carbon tax to go to work
Do you have the same schedule as Nadine in the accounting department who lives 2 blocks away from you? Why don’t you carpool? It’s an effective way to reduce your carbon footprint and save money at the same time, isn’t it?
Did you know that you can benefit from an income tax exemption if you go to work by bike? It’s good for the environment, for your health and for your budget.
In the midst of a boom, this way of organizing work is one of the best solutions for limiting its carbon footprint. Many companies now offer their employees the possibility to work either at home or in places close to their homes (coworking spaces, business centers …) allowing them to have fully equipped offices or coworking stations.
In the same way, new communication methods now make it possible to limit travel. It is quite possible to hold meetings with colleagues on the other side of the country without having to travel.
For more information, we invite you to consult the document produced by the ADEME which lists a list of good tips for becoming an eco-citizen at work.
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